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Gloucestershire Business News

Nearly 100 gender hate crimes reported in last year

The county-wide strategic hate crime group, in partnership with the police, have launched a new five-year strategy.

New figures show a gender-based hate crime is reported to police in Gloucestershire nearly twice a week as action continues to raise awareness throughout the county.

The Constabulary recorded 95 cases of gender hate crime between June 2020 and June 2021, making it the fifth most reported type of hate crime in the county.

All hate crime strands are believed to be significantly under reported and police are urging more victims to come forward.

With awareness of the gender/sex hate crime category lower than others and the category only now being adopted in all parts of the country, the number of misogyny and misandry offences is likely to be far higher than reported.

The Constabulary was one of only a handful of forces to adopt the gender hate crime category in 2018.

While currently gender/sex hate crime is not recognised as an aggravated criminal offence in law, the Law Commission has looked at the issue as part of a review of hate crime legislation and is due to report back on its findings later this year.

Not to be confused with gender identity/trans hate crime, gender/sex hate crime relates to hostility or prejudice based on someone's gender/sex. Examples may include singling women out for misogynistic insults, or a woman being attacked in public by men for wearing a skirt.

Officers are working with over 40 agencies from across the county to improve hate crime awareness amongst the public and taking action internally to ensure it tackles any gender inequality within the Constabulary.

A high-level project, overseen by Assistant Chief Constable Rhiannon Kirk, has also been established to address the wider issue of violence, abuse and intimidation against women and girls in the wake of concern following the Sarah Everard murder.

Officers working on the project are seeking to tackle crime against women and girls in the county and understand the feelings and thoughts of female staff to improve fairness and culture within the Force.

The county-wide strategic hate crime group, in partnership with the police, have launched a new five-year strategy and continue to work with all agencies to promote reporting, including via the anonymous third party reporting form available at: https://www.victimsupport.org.uk/help-and-support/get-help/request-support/ 

Police county hate crime coordinator PC Steph Lawrence said: "Recent national events such as the Sarah Everard murder have highlighted the campaign to end violence against women and girls and the need for police to make sure they are doing everything they can to address the issue.

"The impact of gender/sex hate crime shows this isn't about 'political correctness' or a 'woke' culture - these are serious issues that can have devastating consequences.

"We want to foster a culture where people are confident to come forward and tell us about these things, even if they want to do so anonymously, because we need to understand how prevalent it is.

"Gender/sex hate crime isn't a specific crime yet, but the Government is reviewing that at the moment, and this is about building up a picture of the true extent of it.

"Being abused simply because of your sex is not acceptable and it's crucial people understand they don't have to live with that - we will listen to you, take you seriously and make sure you get the right support."

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